The call for a bipartisan inspection of the alleged questionable construction of the Php55 million phase lll of the Alburquerque Cluster Sanitary Landfill (ACSL) has been set next month – May 13, 2015 after Governor Edgar Chatto, Alburquerque Mayor Efren Tungol and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority Assistant Chief Operating Officer Atty. Guiller Asido agreed to put to rest the issues hounding the completion of the project.
Senator Loren Legarda upon getting hold of a copy of theÂ Bohol ChronicleÂ last week during the graduation ceremonies of trained masons of Escuella Taller in Dauis will look into the reported delay of the project.
Legarda is the principal author of RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Managemant Act of 2003 that served as the inspiration of the eleven mayors to put up the cluster sanitary landfill in Alburquerque.
Invoking “full transparency”, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), the implementing agency of the beleaguered Php300 million Alburquerque Cluster Sanitary Landfill (ACSLF) project is “more than willing to conduct a joint inspection of the project with the Municipal and Provincial Government at soonest possible time, to settle finally and address all concerns on the project”.
In a letter to Alburquerque Mayor Engr. Efren Tungol, four days after the landfill contractor missed out on the project completion deadline, the Assistant Chief Operating Officer of TIEZA, Atty. Guiller Asido also expressed gratitude for “your concern on the implementation of the project” but thumbed down the recommendation of the LGU for the termination of the contract between the agency and its contractor, Lourel Development Corporation.
Asido wrote that “we do not share the same sentiment with respect to the rescission of the contract”.
“To rescind the contract will delay the operation of the project, and will not serve the best interest of the whole province”, said Asido.
Acting on a resolution unanimously passed by the Sangguniang Bayan of Alburquerque as early as February 23, 2015, Tungol informed TIEZA that termination of the contract between the agency and project contractorÂ was the “best option to save the failed project” which has already incurred “four consecutive negative slippages since the start of phase lll”.
“As the end user of the project, we will not accept anything short of strict compliance of the standards set by the bid contract” said Tungol.
Tungol also told theÂ ChronicleÂ that they are still awaiting the formal turn over of phase ll of the landfill project which was reportedly completed on January 22, 2014.
Tungol told theÂ ChronicleÂ that upon receipt of Asido’s letter he informed Governor Edgar Chatto about TIEZA’s willingness for a joint ocular inspection at the project site.
Immediately Chatto scheduled the inspection after a meeting on May 8, 2015 of the ten municipalities including Tagbilaran City that composed the cluster of municipalities that will avail of the services of the landfill.
The ocular inspection will be conducted next month by the Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO), TIEZA, Lourel Construction, LGU of Alburquerque and the Provincial Engineering Office.
TungolÂ also insisted on the presence of a COA Regional Technical Inspector and a representative of TIEZA’s Construction Management Dept. that conducts a mandatory Contractors Performance Evaluation System (CPES) of all government contracts.
The bone of contention of the two parties centers on Phase lll of the project costing P55,806,285.44 with a contract time of 210 days that started on September 15, 2014 and was scheduled to be completed on April 12, 2015.
According to Tungol, based on the status report of the Municipal Inspectorate Team (MIT), a day after the scheduled completion date of the project, the actual accomplishment was 72.05% resulting in a negative slippage of -27.95.18%.
However, Asido in the same letter debunked the claims of Tungol saying “as of 7 April 2015, the project accomplishment is 87.30% with a negative slippage of – 9.7%.
The contrasting percentages of accomplishments and negative slippages were based on different work schedules that are used as basis for the computation of project status reports.
The MIT created by Tungol to closely monitor the progress of the civil works relied on the original work schedule for phase lll, while TIEZA measured the project accomplishment on an approved revised work schedule (Bar Chart/S-Curve)
The sudden change of POW raised the hackles of Tungol leading to accusations of violations of the provisions of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and bewilderment on the “incredible and bloated figure of work accomplishments” that perhaps were due to ” information fed to Asido that were fallacious”.
According to Tungol even the result of the mandatory CPES of 70.8% accomplishment conducted by a separate unit of TIEZA’s Construction Management Department hewed more closely with the MIT figures.
Asido also reminded Tungol of the “need to hold training already on the operation and management of the project” with the training modules “have already been prepared as well for the purpose”.
But Tungol told theÂ ChronicleÂ that since the sudden disappearance of TIEZA’s project consultant whom Tungol identified as Roger Vergara whose responsibility was to conduct the trainings “we have no knowledge about such trainings”.
The presence of a “stay-in consultant to oversee the on going construction to ensure that the same is compliant to the plans, standards and specifications” were among the “deficiencies and shortcomings” noted in the SB resolution asking for the termination of the contract.
Also, in the same letter, Asido requested Tungol to “make appropriate representations with the Bohol Electric Cooperative (BOHECO) in order to ensure that the electric power supply is ready”.
According to Asido “the electric power supply is located 2 kms. away from the last electric post provided by BOHECO”.
But Tungol balked at Asido’s request saying ” we do not know how much power the landfill needs since we were not furnished any document nor advice on that matter”.
Asido also belied the assertions of Tungol that TIEZAÂ “is not giving due course and appropriate attention to the concerns being raised by the municipality”.
Asido stressed that concerns on the relocation of the training center and the motor pool has been complied and constant monitoring and supervision by TIEZA’s project engineer of all aspect of the construction has been done “sans any publicity”.
Responding to Asido’s claim, Tungol said that “the location of the motor pool will create a problem with the movement of the garbage trucks since the area is too tight while the elevation exposes vehicles to serious accidents”.
The installation of the weighbridge and other construction activities wereÂ witnessed by DYRD reporters Rey Tutas and Willie Maestrado a day after the scheduled completion date.
Engineers present during the inspection openly resented the presence of media branding them as “Tungol’s henchmen” and told them that the project will soon be turned over to the LGU by the contractor.
But Tungol clarified that the contractor will handover the completed project to TIEZA and the LGU as end user will either accept or refuse the project from TIEZA.
The scope of works for phase lll of the sanitary landfill covers groundwater monitoring wells, provisions for leacheate pipes and treatment plant, motor pool, aviary, training center, fish and siting ponds, weighbridge including foundations, landfill operation equipment and perimeter lightings among others.
With their increasing garbage disposal problems. apprehensions have been raised by officials of Tagbilaran City and the municipalities of Baclayon and Panglao over the reported delay in the completion of the landfill.
The rest of the municipalities – Balilihan, Corella, Cortes, Dauis, Lila, Loboc, Maribojoc, Panglao and Sikatuna are pinning their hopes in the early completion of the landfill while facing increasing pressure for a disposal site for their daily garbage.
The Department of Tourism is the source of funds for the Php300 million landfill project while the TIEZA is the implementing agency.Â (CMV)